The CEPF investment strategy for the East Melanesian Islands is based on a 14-month consultation process, coordinated by the University of the South Pacific, the University of Papua New Guinea and Conservation International’s Pacific Islands Program, which engaged more than 150 stakeholders from government, civil society and local communities.
The strategy recognizes local communities as the ultimate custodians of biodiversity, and outlines a suite of approaches to empower communities and build supportive networks of civil society organizations at local, regional and national levels.
Drawing on lessons learned from past conservation programs in the region, conservation interventions will be developed gradually, to allow sufficient time for trust and understanding to be built among partners, for capacity and knowledge to be transferred, and for long-term funding to be identified and secured. Central to the sustainability strategy of the CEPF investment program in the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot will be an explicit focus on capacity building for local and national civil society through partnerships, networks and mentoring.
Because of the need to invest heavily in capacity building, the investment period in the East Melanesian Islands will be eight years, from 2013 to 2021.
The CEPF investment strategy for the East Melanesian Islands Hotspot has five strategic directions:
1. Empower local communities to protect and manage globally significant biodiversity at priority key biodiversity areas underserved by current conservation efforts.
2. Integrate biodiversity conservation into local land-use and development planning.
3. Safeguard priority globally threatened species by addressing major threats and information gaps.
4. Increase local, national and regional capacity to conserve biodiversity through catalyzing civil society partnerships.
5. Provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of conservation investment through a regional implementation team.